MOSCOW, June 14 (RAPSI) – Andrey Poplavsky, former chief executive of the governmental body established to oversee the implementation of a presidential decree on the construction of the Primorye Oceanarium, denies guilt as he stands charged with embezzling over one billion rubles ($15.3 million), RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.

“I don’t understand what I am charged with. I’ve not committed anything unlawful,” the agency quoted Poplavsky as having said. He also slammed investigators for the lack of "substantial evidence."

Poplavsky served as a director at the Direction on construction management in the Far Eastern Federal District, which was established in 2005.

Initially, the Primorye Oceanarium was planned to open at the beginning of the APEC 2012 summit in Vladivostok, but the commissioning date was postponed several times. Russian authorities expect Oceanarium to open this summer.

On March 21 Oleg Shishov, former CEO of Mostovik construction company, was sentenced to three years in prison for complicity in embezzlement at the Primorye Oceanarium.

Shishov, whose company was involved in the construction of facilities for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testified against Poplavsky.